NEPA Coal and Folk Music comes to the Dietrich Theater

For Abington Journal | May 9th, 2016 11:24 am

TUNKHANNOCK — Get ready to tap your feet and clap your hands in time to the rousing acoustic music of Jay Smar and the NEPA Coal and Folk Music Concert at 3 p.m. May 15 at the Dietrich Theater.

Armed with two guitars, baritone vocals, a claw-hammer banjo, fiddling, singing and flat-footin’ (a form of clog-dancing), Smar is known for treating his audience to an “acoustic buffet” of traditional American and original folk, old time mountain music, bluegrass and gospel tunes, as well as coal mining songs of Northeast Pennsylvania, preceded by their stories.

Although admission is free, there a free-will offering to support the musician.

This musical program highlights the struggles and disasters of coal miners in northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as folk music from the region. Smar will explain the origin of and play documented and researched original compositions from the region’s coal mining past and other aspects of our life and culture.

In the last few years, Smar has toured Scotland twice, received recognition from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival twice, recorded music for the Welsh BBC movie, “The Welsh in America,” and was selected by the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour to be on their professional touring roster.

His latest accomplishments include receiving the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Recognition Award, acceptance into the Martin Guitar Artist Program and the release of his CD “Heritage and Coal Mining Songs of the Northeast.”

No stranger to the Dietrich, Smar has been a guest performer at the theater’s Gathering of Singer/Songwriters over the years, and he was a featured performer for the fundraiser after the disastrous flood of 2011. An accomplished songwriter, Jay has three albums to his credit. To compose his songs he has researched historical facts about Pennsylvania in a number of libraries throughout the coal region. He explains how his research becomes poetry, and then he puts it to music.

For information or to reserve free tickets, call 570-996-1500. Tickets will be available at the door as long as they last.

Smar Submitted photo

For Abington Journal

Information provided by the Dietrich Theater.